The Week: Best of the blogs - Look at the numbers

Brand is only one of the possible ways to sell. But, as far as most planners are concerned, it's now the only way that anybody buys anything.

You've heard the expression: "When the only tool you've got is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail." Well, most planners only have one tool, so every problem looks like a branding issue. They don't even consider the business problem.

Let me give you an example. When AMV had to repitch for Sainsbury's, they sat down and discussed the branding issues. How could they change the brand to attract more people into the store? It was depressing because the brief from the client was to increase Sainsbury's turnover by £3 billion over the next two years. And, however much you change the brand, you're not going to attract £3 billion of business away from your competitors.

Then a young planner said: "Forget the brand for a minute, and look at the numbers.

"Sainsbury's has 14 million store visits a week. That's three-quarters of a billion store visits a year.

"If we can increase the value of each store visit by an average £1.50, we'll have increased revenue by £3 billion over two years."

And because she said that, the "try something different today" campaign was born.

That's the sort of planner I, and every creative, want to work with. Not a planner that says brand isn't ever the answer. Just a planner that says brand isn't always the only answer.

Dave Trott, http://cstadvertising.com/blog/

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